Selected Topics in Family Law #2: Needed for Divorce: Your Marriage Certificate

(Transcript of video)

Caption: Selected Topics in Family Law #2 Needed for Divorce: Your Marriage Certificate

Narrator: When filing for divorce, one of the documents you need is your marriage certificate.

Voice-over: What if a marriage certificate is missing, or is not in English, or if it contains mistakes?

J.P. Boyd: If you do not have, or if your client doesn't have, the original marriage certificate, you can get one from Vital Stats. That's not a big deal. It can be a big deal if you live in a remote community that doesn't have access to a Vital Statistics branch.

Here, you order it, it costs maybe twenty to thirty dollars. There's a turnaround time of one or two weeks. It's not that bad.

Now, if the marriage certificate, though, is from any other country … well, actually, to put it another way, if the marriage certificate is in any language other than English, you have to get it translated and you need an Affidavit of Translator, confirming that he or she is a qualified translator and that the transcription that they're giving is an accurate transcription, okay? This also applies to documents in French, notwithstanding that Canada is a bilingual country. So French, and any other language, has to be translated.

Now the funny thing is that if the marriage certificate is wrong, follow the marriage certificate anyway. It doesn't matter because the registry will bounce it if you don't. So this is an example of what you do if there's a mistake. So, in this example, John Quentin Browne, is Brown with an "e" on the marriage certificate but not in real life. So what you do is you put that name as well as the proper spelling of the name. So in this case it's John Quentin Brown, no "e." Also known as John Quentin Browne with an "e." Okay? That's good enough. It's not an alias. You're not going to get in trouble and your client's not going to get in trouble.

Closing credits: From "Helping Clients Prepare Divorce Documents That Don't Bounce" — a workshop by J.P. Boyd

2006 Provincial Training Conference for Legal Advocates
Legal Services Society, BC

Thank you to the Law Foundation of British Columbia whose generous funding made this video possible.

Do not rely upon this video for legal advice. Every case is different. For specific legal advice, contact a lawyer or your legal aid office.

© Legal Services Society, BC, 2007

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